Thursday, December 31, 2009

My 99 Things

I was inspired by Sarah from "Stars in her Fingernails" (as you'll see in the blogs I read on the right hand column if you scroll down) to write this posting...So here goes: 99 Things I have done:

1. owned an art gallery
2. hiked up a mountain
3. owned a horse
4. had pet pigs as big as bears
5. went digging for fossils
6. studied geology on my own time
7. learned sign language
8. studied Druidry
9. know the books of the Bible
10. spent a summer by the sea
11. took all the color out of my hair - once -
12. grew my hair down the middle of my back
13. won a prestigious award for writing a book based on Special Education
14. have published a self-help book
15. have sold art around the world
16. have ridden a boat out in the sea
17. gave birth to my son
18. gave birth to my daughter
19. studied Buddhism
20. taught Japanese culture
21. tore a tendon in my ankle and STILL held a full days worth of parent/teacher conferences
22. pulled 20+ porcupine quills from a beloved dog's face
23. got an A in Advanced Essay Writing from the most infamous professor that ever lived
24. won a car on my wedding day (sold said car and bought a computer, a bed and a used vehicle instead)
25. attended the Largest Craft Show in the World
26. was on a tv show that featured me and my art
27. wrote and published two books of poetry
28. got myself a husband for Christmas (what was it...12 or so years ago?)
29. was baptized
30. watched my grandma dying
31. felt a ghost in my house
32. know things I probably shouldn't know for reasons I can't begin to guess
33. read Great Expectations in a week
34. have written a cease and desist letter more than once
35. have made a Croquembouche (for the first and last time)
36. was in an antique show for 3 summers in a row
37. ran a homeschool tutoring business
38. have designed over 10 websites since I began
39. taught classes on doll-making
40. taught crochet
41. have crocheted two afghans
42. made two locker hooked rugs
43. homeschooled my son for approximately 1 month of his Kindergarten year
44. collected antiques as a teenager
45. met my husband when I was only 17
46. cut my right hand, my right knee and my right foot all during the summer I was 11
47. I own chickens
48. I've sold chicken eggs
49. know how to drive a tractor
50. know how to drive a threshing machine
51. know how to bail hay
52. know how to rake a field and plow a field
53. know how to drive a combine
54. have changed countless lines of irrigation
55. have seen elk and antelope in the wild
56. would like to say I've seen a ghost
57. taken a trip to Crater Lake
58. have taken rides in small airplanes
59. I can sew clothes and do very fine embroidery
60. can make candles
61. can make wooden spoons and my own clothes pins
62. can make butter and homemade bread
63. have been lost
64. have been found
65. have ridden an ATV as fast as I possibly could
66. have danced in the rain with the man I love
67. sung in a University Choir
68. embarrassed myself in a University voice class...reaaaaalllly embarrassed myself
69. sung solos in A Capella choir
70. was told I had the "best legs" in high school (ahhhh, those were the days)
71. was a music leader in a University church group
72. saw Amy Grant in concert when I was a teenager
73. saw Amy Grant in concert in my own little town of Sisters as an adult
74. saw Nickel Creek at a small concert in Portland
75. have been in the newspaper for using and exciting teaching method
76. gave a straight "A" student a "B" once...and it made his life better
77. made someone laugh until they peed their pants
78. told an older woman once that I wouldn't help her because she wasn't thankful (what the H was I thinking?)
79. voted for Barack Obama (I'd do it again and again and again)
80. dislocated my collar bone
81. chipped my brother's tooth(it was MY turn to talk into the pipe, by the way)
82. cut my brother's foot (yikes...sorry brother)
83. use to have "future dreams"
84. got through 4 years of choir and 2 years of University choir without being able to read music
85. was Site-Council President for two years running in my school district
86. have found one intact sand dollar at an Oregon beach
87. flew a kite that lifted me off the ground
88. watched Fourth of July fireworks as they were shot off over the ocean
89. remember the day that Princess Diana died - I cried and cried for my childhood hero
90. remember 9/11 - I was teaching 6th graders and had to make my way through the rest of the day in shock and terror
91. watched "The Blair Witch Project" and thought it was real...had a nightlight on for two weeks after that
92. can drive a 5-speed
93. can name most native plants in my area
94. can decipher runes and read cards
95. have read 98% of the books in my house
96. have over 200 books in my house
97. had my front tooth knocked out by a baseball when I was 9
98. had my teeth fixed when I was 30
99. sat up this long writing this list


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Solstice-ing

After my post this morning, I thought and I thought about missing the Solstice and I thought to myself, "Ahh, who gives a care if I do it on the RIGHT day??!" So, I'm celebrating it in my own way today...Spirit doesn't mind what day we celebrate...every day is a celebration.
So, I started off by eating some of the wonderful fudge my husband makes and said to myself, "Nothing better to kick it off."
Here is a poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson that I love for this day as well - poetry read aloud, just as it should be read!!!








And it reminds me to WATCH and LISTEN and NOTICE...and it also reminds me of how I'd love one BIG snow storm before the days begin to lengthen again. I love this whole idea (in whichever way you want to see it) of the meaning of Christmas/Solstice: physically the days are now beginning to lengthen...the days will Lengthen...the tiny Sun promises to illuminate the Earth and begin to warm it up...Spiritually, a Light is born unto the world that promises to illuminate our Hearts. It is that little glow in a dark world that promises to grow and enlighten our spirits. The Virgin Mary and Baby Jesus represent the tiny Light and the Pure and Majestic Mother who brought this Light into the world for us.

I am so thankful for light and warmth and truth and purity and majesty. I'm so thankful for the ultimate gift of a Son/Sun and the simple gift of the sparkle of a candle in my window. Whatever face you put on this time of year, allow our hearts to be Unified in simplicity of LIGHT and PROMISE and GIVING. I pray for peace and that joy that fills your heart up until you cry for happiness this Season.

Happy Solstice Dear Readers - love, Katie

Standing Outside

I've been having "hmmm" moments lately - moments of standing outside a sphere and feeling a little...what is the word...I think it is melancholy. I saw a beautiful silk and wool shawl and said to myself, "Ahhh! My two friends would love this and they could make these!" Lo and behold, as I looked at the tag, there were their names. I was so glad for them, but because I've been their business partners before, there was that feeling of standing outside and waving. I tried to quickly reel that energy of sadness in because I didn't want to mar the whole beauty of what they were beginning again.
Because I didn't get the message earlier, I went to pick up a friend to spend the day with her to find out that she'd already gotten a ride home and I hadn't gotten the message so I was left to pretend to be happy and excited for her and "no worries" and went and sat and had coffee and fresh baked banana bread by myself. It was again that feeling of standing outside.
What is even more interesting, is that just about a month ago I was kind of reeling from how many friends were vying for my attention...when can I do this, when can I do that...and now, melancholy.
So now that there has been this kind of positive silencing/grounding, I find that I've been silent/grounded a bit too much and now I need to spread my wings a bit more at times.
I'm very happy with my job...I don't have the say-so or the responsibility of a classroom teacher, but I am teaching and that makes me absolutley joyous. I'm lacking the spiritual lately. I even let Winter Solstice pass me by without even a how-do-you-do. Weird. I've celebrated the solstice just about religiously for the past 3 years. Hmmmm...I think I have found myself "standing outside" just a bit too long each day, and yet with no photos to show for it. As you can clearly see...this post is not of the usual variety...no photos, no uplift...just me being quietly stunned by my own lack in certain areas.
I am grateful that the areas in my life that needed attention are getting it (my BRAIN!), but my spirit has been so spoiled it is now throwing a bit of a fit at being so neglected...where are the walks in the wood - alone? where are the photos taken by your keen eye? Where are the books of deep thought? Where are the soul poems? A bit replaced by social studies curriculum and reading circles and copies of the latest agendas and meetings to attend in early mornings and parents to call and schedules to change...not gone, but my spirit is definitely standing outside knocking hard on my windows, calling loud for BALANCE.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas Offerings

a snippet from the website

I do have a purpose on the internet...did you know? I write books and collections of poetry and I reach out to other people as far as I can...have you found it yet? http://www.intothewoode.com/ is my little place on the internet. I woke up early this morning and redesigned it...seriously...and I got to thinking about giving you all something: Right now, I am offering my books to all readers of my blog with FREE shipping to anyone in the continental U.S. and to everyone else, half price shipping!!! That can mean a lot of savings to my friends over-seas!!!
a snippet from the website

All you need to do is to email me at intothewoode (at) yahoo (dot) com and let me know you saw this offer on the blog for free (or half price) shipping. The books are here and here (did you know they are available on AMAZON? However, the deal doesn't apply there, only with me...besides, I'll personally sign your book for you!!!) I have a limited number of them on hand at the moment, so act quickly!!!



Sunday, December 13, 2009

Silencing

I've been finding it a bit hard to come to terms with myself these days and nights
There is sincere thankfulness in my heart that I have had these years to have completely blown out of myself and been able to fill myself back up with what was true and right.
I am SO completely and down in bones grateful for these learning years.
The days grab onto me from the moment my eyes are opened and my simple tasks are set before me like a menu: walk up here and teach this, walk down there and look after them, walk back up here and help them complete it, siddle over there and teach this, back down to teach that and lastly help these kids keep it together...now go home.
There has been a shutting down of sorts going on inside of me.
I've been so open, skin tingling with the everything new soaking in and the old scrubbed off. I've been able to sit face down in the grass and let it permeate to my bones. I've been able to dance at the witching hour under a full moon.
Now I am in a kind of silencing.
This mode of life has caused me to pull in and stand up...to be constantly grounded. I wanted to write that it isn't good for me to be constantly grounded, but I am finally beginning to learn that I don't know that everything I once thought is actually true. Perhaps it is good for me to have taken what I've learned in my spirit and begin to apply it to my daily life.
You can only learn so much until it begins to saturate and muddle...
at some point we all must just stop ruminating and begin to actually fly.
My heart is a carefully, naturally carved chamber wherein I always find my true self.
She has filled volumes in this room at a tiny, perfectly sturdy little secretary desk. She has barely been able to soak in all that she has written, and now it is time to sit in a cozy brown chair and begin to read these volumes to me. I imagine that she reads them to me and I am able to go and DO now. We can put into practice what we've learned. Yes... a kind of silencing...how appropriate when my world is covered in snow and the flames leap from the wood my husband has provided. How appropriate when I am wrapping gifts and cuddling kids.
Happy Winter to all my friends...I wish "silencing" for you, as well.





Thursday, December 03, 2009

Relief

I admire passion.
I seek people out who have it.
I really love to be with people who are passionate about the same core ideas as me.
But I can admire (at least fundamentally) those who don't have the same core ideas, but who are equally passionate over their lives. I stand in awe of those who immediately say, "No! that isn't right...it can't be right...change it now." In equal measure, I can be horrified by it.
By saying it all so rashly, there wasn't time for reflection and decision...only reaction.
I do not applaud reactionaries...I myself struggle with it.
I see a lesson before me again that is a chance to squish my lifelong nemesis: reactive behavior.
The bossy teacher in me likes to say, "no" or "not now" or "never" at the first hint of deviation from the norm...but I've tempered it so much. My own little children have taught me to ask questions first before I judge and hand down the ruling.
"Wait a minute. Explain to me why you have to leave the classroom."
I have found that 8 times out of 10, kids have valid/justifiable reasons for what they do.
The problem, truly, is with adults.
Adults think they are "soooo grown-up." Nope, just different. for instance, you can't tell an administrator, "That's lunch detention, missy. I'll see you then and we'll have a chat about it." By which we really mean, "I'll straighten you out at lunch."
Too bad adults can't get detentions.
So, back to my nemesis...yes, I have found myself suspending judgement. Giving a new plan time before I've truly stepped on one side or the other, but KNOWING where I stand in the end. Knowing what I want the solution to feel like is key...
what a RELIEF to find myself giving time to REFLECTION.